>> welcome to the "journal" coming to you from dw live here in berlin. 70 years on, veterans and politicians mark d-day on the beaches of normandy. >> during those commemorations, the russian president talked in person with western leaders about ukraine for the first time. >> a leading afghan presidential candidates arrives an assassination attempt in kabul -- survives an assassination attempt in kabul.
the 70th anniversary of the invasion that turned the tides of world war ii has been commemorated by world leaders on the beaches of normandy. >> the d-day invasion opened up a second western front to take pressure off soviet armies closing in on the heart of the german rice from the east -- the german reich from the east. >> here's a look at some of the days events. >> the ceremony was the highlight of many events to mark normandy beach landing. many veterans were in attendance. chancellor merkel among them. french president françois hamman paid an emotional tribute to veterans in his opening speech -- french president françois hollande. >> thank you for having been here on the sixth of june, 19 44. thank you for being here today on the sixth of june, 2013.
you will always be a among us on this beach and in our thoughts. >> and a special gesture, hollande pay tribute to the courage of the germans, many of whom were forced to fight a war which he said was not their own. earlier, veterans attended a ceremony at daybreak, marking the contribution of 150,000 allied soldiers who took part in the d-day landings 70 years ago. many of them injured or witnessed unimaginable suffering. most of the allied casualties occurred on a section of coastline known as omaha beach. a few hours later came another high point -- the franco-american commemoration ceremony led by the french and american presidents. thousands of white marble crosses mark the graves of the american soldiers who died there.
at the soldier cemetery, britain's queen elizabeth paid tribute to the thousands of british soldiers who lost their lives in the invasion. but the main event was where the troops landed 70 years ago, including three french forces who wanted to help liberate their country. they, too, were remembered today. >> our own correspondent simon young has been covering the ceremonies. he gave us his impressions of the events in france. >> this was a day of pride and pain as veterans and world leaders marked the bravery and sacrifice of d-day. there have been many commemorations before, but this was the last time that many of the men and women who actually took part in the normandy landings that ultimately led to the defeat of nazi germany will turn out in these numbers, and
it was the last time that the world will be able to say thank you directly to them for their sacrifice. many of the world leaders gathered here today true the link between the events of 70 years ago and the world we live in now, and the presence here of both president putin of russia and president-elect poroshenko of ukraine, and the focus was on the conflict in eastern ukraine, even more than it already had been, but president hollande of france spoke of a promise written in blood on the sands of the normandy beaches as he said that now, unlike back then when it was up to the allies, it is up to international organizations like the you in -- the united nations and european union to protect people from war and the threat of war. >> dw correspondent simon young. >> a lot of political
commemorations today, but let's go back to the historical events of 70 years ago. >> as d-day unfolded, germany and the soviet union were locked in a mammoth struggle. >> the german general staff knew the allies had amassed a huge army in britain, but they had sketchy intelligence as to when or where it would be deployed. >> the allies chose landing sites in normandy in northern france. the timing of the attack depended very much on the weather. >> by 1944, the nazis occupied much of europe. in the east, they were fighting the soviet army. in the west, they had largely subdued their enemies. hitler expected the allies to invade by sea. he decided to secure europe's west coast by means of a gigantic line of fortresses -- the atlantic wall. at the end of 1943, he ordered a
field marshal to take charge of the western defenses. he knew that the allies would attack, but he did not know when. by early june 1944 on the other side of the channel, the allies were ready. the british, americans, canadians, polls, and 10 other nations have joined forces. 1200 warships, 7500 aircraft, and about one hundred 50 thousand soldiers advanced across the english channel channel to open up a new western front in france. their commander was u.s. general dwight eisenhower. the u.s. entered the war late, after germany's ally japan attacked pearl harbor in 1941. britain, led by prime minister winston churchill, had entered the war in 1939, right after germany invaded poland.
polish and british armies are side-by-side on d-day. together with canadians and other british commonwealth troops. 177 exiled frenchman took part in the invasion as well. the attack was supposed to be launched on june 5, but the weather was bad, so june 6 entered history as d-day, the day the allies landed in normandy to begin the liberation of europe from the nazis, 70 years ago today. >> now on the sidelines of the d-day commemorations, it looks like there has been some diplomatic movement towards easing the tensions in ukraine. >> the new ukrainian president and russian president issued a joint call for a cease-fire in the embattled eastern ukraine. >> vladimir putin had a number of what are being called constructive talks with western leaders, including with barack obama. >> the german chancellor has been using her influence with both men to find a path forward out of the crisis.
>> angela merkel speaks russian. vladimir putin speaks german. the two leaders are said to have a good working relationship and have spoken frequently during the ukraine crisis. ukraine was on the agenda again friday as they met for an hour-long private conversation on the sidelines of the d-day ceremonies in france. merkel was also on hand for a 15-minute encounter between putin and poroshenko, the newly elected president of the ukraine . many hoped this could be a turning point after months of tensions. a short time later, u.s. president barack obama and putin spoke briefly ahead of a state dinner hosted by the french president. it was their first face-to-face meeting since the ukraine crisis started. hollande welcomed putin with military honors thursday, but that did not hide the tensions between moscow and western capitals.
british prime minister david cameron seized the opportunity to clearly express his government's views of russian policies. >> the status quo, the situation today is not acceptable, and it needs to change. we need russians to properly recognize this new president. we need de-escalation. we need to stop arms and people crossing the border. >> france invited putin to the d-day commemoration in honor of the soviet union's role in defeating nazi germany, but the relationship between moscow and its wartime allies remains troubled. >> where does it all go from here? john joins us from the studio for some analysis. welcome, first off. how much were the d-day celebrations overshadowed by events in ukraine? >> i think they were not so much overshadowed by the events as the ukraine providing a focus for these events. the ukraine, of course, is very much in the minds of all the
leaders there, and probably many people also attending the commemoration. the tone and atmosphere of this commemoration was really quite unusual. the commemoration of d-day has evolved in the past 70 years. at the beginning, it was a celebration of the defeat of not see germany and the nazi ideology -- the defeat of nazi germany. european nations have become friends, and have come to value each other differently. they have also evolved differently, of course. modern germany bears no relationship with germany of 1945. in this context, president hollande stressed in his keynote speech the fact that the d-day landings were not simply a military victory leading to the defeat of germany.
they led ultimately to the establishment of a new democratic order in europe. they led ultimately, he suggested, to the european union itself and to the integration within europe, and the lesson of all of that is that this freedom so dearly bought by the sacrifice of these men imposes as part of its legacy on us a responsibility to look for peaceful solutions to our conflicts, and in that context, of course, the ukraine, the ukrainian crisis has been pulled into an atmosphere where it is much easier for leaders to talk to one another. >> talking is the order of the day. earlier this week, barack obama made lots of headlines for talking tough to russia, and france and germany have recently worked this diplomatic channels. is there any chance you're might just go its own way on this? >> i don't think that will happen. the person in my assessment who is really the leader, really
behind the diplomatic initiatives here in europe is angela merkel. she has a very good chemistry with vladimir putin, and she also is able to speak russian. she has been in close telephone contact with him throughout the crisis, and it was interesting to watch their body language during the commemorations. i don't think, on the other hand, that angela merkel is somebody -- and certainly not the other european leaders -- who would want to go their own way. they will draw america into their own view of the situation. >> we will watch that very closely, see if that is the case. thanks very much for now. let's go to moscow and join our correspondent who is following the story. what does it look like after this joint call for a cease-fire from russia and ukraine? could we see a negotiated settlement to end the fighting in ukraine? >> certainly it seems that a window of opportunity has opened
up. the kremlin is acting much less aggressive than a couple of weeks ago. it seems to recognize that poroshenko will be the new president of ukraine from saturday on. putin in the kremlin understand that they need to show themselves ready for dialogue because they want to avoid those sanctions, but on the other hand, they do have a lot of demands. this seems to be just a change of tactics. russia still does not want ukraine to move to close to the west. >> yesterday, barack obama gave russia a pretty tough ultimatum, a one-month ultimatum on ukraine. how is that going down in the kremlin? >> it is not going down too well. russia is quite impressed by the threat of sanctions because they do not want their economy to be hurt, and that is why they have now toned down and are open for this dialogue, whatever that will come to, but they still
seem to hope that europe will influence the u.s. because he europe, as we heard, has much more business interests in russia, and it could be that putin still hopes that he can divide and conquer the situation when he is now just acting a bit more friendly towards ukraine. >> you mentioned is diplomatic offensive that vladimir putin is on right now. what kind of backing does the russian president have at home for his policy on ukraine? >> he has a very strong backing up the moment, ever since the ukrainian crisis started, his approval ratings have just been skyrocketing. independent surveys confirm that about 85% of russians support putin. also interestingly, since the start of the year, hostility towards the u.s. has risen from about 36% to 70%. all this is obviously fueled by state tv, but it is clear that vladimir putin inside russia has
really been able to use this crisis for having stronger support. >> we have to leave it there. thanks so very much. stay with us. we'll be right back after a short break. >> just one minute. >> welcome back. as we have been reporting, there had been some signs of high-level rapprochement between russia and ukraine, but on the ground, ukraine remains very much in turmoil. >> and still locked in fighting in the east of the country. civilian casualties are mounting, and moscow has expressed concerns about the growing number of refugees fleeing into russia. >> ending the conflict is the first challenge for ukraine's new president. our reporter in kiev has been asking people what they expect of the country's new leader. >> during a memorial to the dead and at the same time, a symbol
of hope. my done square -- maidan square is where the protests began. petro poroshenko is the new president. we asked ukrainians about their expectations of him. >> "expectations" is the wrong word. look around this country -- we've hit bottom. the situation is so grim that nobody can have expectations for any one man. we all of us together shoulder to shoulder have to do our bit for the future of ukraine. >> poroshenko belongs to a new generation of politicians. i hope he is a ukrainian patriot. i hope we will pull together as ukrainians to make our country flourish. so far, the country is not flourishing. ukrainians are struggling to make ends meet.
>> my hope is that it creates jobs for us so that no one has to flee the country just to earn money, to russia or the czech republic or italy. >> ukraine is a country being torn apart. every day, there are new victims of the battles between pro-russian separatists and ukrainian troops in eastern ukraine. >> we have to stop playing games in the east. the president must defeat and destroy the terrorist. >> so that we can finally sleep easily at night. every morning, we wake up and read about new fighting, especially in slovyansk. that will be his big challenge -- to rescue children fleeing the east without their parents. i have a son who is due to be called up for military service. i could lose him at any moment. >> piece -- that's what many ukrainians expect from petro poroshenko -- peace.
>> to afghanistan now, and one of the candidates wanting to be the next president has survived a suicide bombing. >> officials say six people were killed in the attack, but abdullah abdullah escaped unharmed. >> the blast went off as abdullah abdullah's convoy was leaving a campaign event in western kabul. they were strong enough to destroy nearby shops and smashed windows. >> there were two big explosions back to back. when it came out of my house, i saw a lot of victims being taken to my hospital. >> in the aftermath, emergency services scramble to treat the wounded. residents looked on in shock. no group immediately claimed responsibility, but the taliban has threatened to target the election.
after the attack, at the low went on to another rally, urging supporters not to be put off by the violence. >> the response to today's attack should be to go to the ballot boxes. >> we will continue our election campaign as normal. >> cedillo got the most votes in afghanistan's presidential election, but not enough to avoid a runoff poll -- abdullah got the most votes. if he does win the presidency, he will be faced with the formidable task of bringing security to afghanistan. >> italy has rescued more than 2000 migrants at sea. most were picked up in separate boats off the coast of sicily. the refugees included more than
300 children. >> the navy says more migrants are making the crossing from northern africa to italy because of the good weather and better conditions at the. five navy ships in the coast guard were involved in the rescue operation. >> new revelations about warrantless government phone tapping has european rights groups and politicians calling for action. >> vodafone says authorities in "some countries" have direct access to its mobile phone networks, allowing them to listen in and will on customer phone calls. the company revealed the information in a report covering 29 countries around the world. it did not say it which countries the government had direct access to communications data. vodafone published the report in the context of a debate on government surveillance of citizens, businesses, and politicians. >> that debate is raging here in germany, and these revelations
are, of course, not be first in this area. can you fill us in on this report? >> first of all, it is the admission by the world's second-largest mobilephone service provider that such surveillance is being conducted on a very large scale indeed. they cannot give exact figures except when governments publish them themselves, but it is quite clear in the 27 countries where vodafone operates, no surveillance taking place is actually the exception. surveillance taking place is the rule. vodafone clearly signals it is trying to be as transparent as it can be under those legal frameworks of those individual countries, and it firmly puts the ball in the court of those governments to act on privacy rights or face their citizens asking questions. >> the public is seething about this, not only here in germany, but across europe.
what are politicians doing to protect the privacy and rights of their citizens? >> at the european level, certainly in brussels, or chanting -- championing privacy rights, warning that this kind of information be gathered with tweezers, not with a hoover. that is also in line with the european court of justice, moving throughout stronger rights of surveillance for security services, but still, there's a lot of questions to be answered, and that will most likely happen at the national level. >> we will be looking closely at those questions. banks so very much for now. >> some economic news now. german exports in april rose by 3% compared to the month before. it's the biggest increase in two years. the rise is being attributed to higher demand in eu member states. exports to the u.s. and china, meanwhile, were down. let's find out how those figures went down on the markets.
>> the increase of german exports was stronger than those analysts here had anticipated. also, the order situation in germany's companies is good. that's why the reserve bank of germany increased its growth forecast 2014 for germany's economy. positive news also came in from the united states. the situation on the labor market continues to improve, so no wonder that the german dax climbed above 10,000 points, again temporarily, in the course of this trading session. the dax did not end trading above 10,000, though. on this high level, investors are getting extra cautious, and they did not want to take too many risks with them over the weekend. >> we will start the market numbers in frankfurt with the dax, which was up by .4% for the day. euro stoxx 50 had an even bigger day.
the dow jones industrial average at the moment is nearly .5% up, and the euro at the moment trading slightly down against the dollar. >> nigeria considered to be africa's great hope at the tournament. >> nigeria has already conquered the continent. after their win in last years africa cup of nations, the super eagles are hoping to make an impact on the world stage. >> national coach has managed to create unity within the team. his 23-man squad is now in the united states preparing for the tournament. facilities here are better than what many players experience at home. in nigeria's premier league, away wins are rare, even for top teams.
the reigning champions only managed two victories away from home last season. it is often down to logistics. clicks because of the journey, maybe the strain is too much. >> we traveled with the team when they went to play the bottom of the table. departure -- 1:00 a.m. after a prayer for a safe journey, we set off on a 17-our trip across nigeria. there are countless checkpoints along the way. when the driver fails to stop at one, there's trouble. after half an hour of negotiating, we get under way again. after a journey of 800 kilometers, we finally arrived. the trip has taken its toll on some of the players. despite the long journey, they
managed a respectable draw. fans are already getting in the mood for the world cup. >> three world cup, we are going to make the best we can. >> progression past the round of 16 would be a fine achievement for nigeria and the continent. >> we are representing africa. >> with the united squad and a coach brimming with confidence, nigeria may just exceed expectations. >> that's all we have this time on the "journal." it was great having you with us. >> bye-bye. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--
>> you are watching live from paris on "france 24." thank you for joining us. the headlines -- 70 years since d-day. monarchs, presidents, and other world leaders joined veterans in remembering the biggest amphibious invasion in world history. calling for an end of hostilities on the sidelines, russia's vladimir putin holds talks with ukraine's president. and abdullah abdullah is unharmed after twin explosions target the man tipped to be afghanistan's next president.